Standardized Test Types

Low-stakes Tests

Low-stakes testing is a form of assessment encompassed by the immediate process of learning, often in a very short feedback loop, such as exercises or quizzes. Sometimes this is called "formative" standardized testing or even just "feedback". The essential characteristics are immediacy and the lack of serious consequences contingent on performance.

formative tests are generally considered as low-stakes tests that have low or no point value. The goal of a formative test is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately and by students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work. Examples of formative tests include:

  • Asking students to draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic.
  • Asking students to submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture.
  • Asking students to turn in a research proposal for early feedback.

Low-stakes Tests: Setting

Low-stakes tests and formative tests often take place in one of the following contexts:

  • Classrooms
  • Small groups
  • Tutoring Sessions
  • Informal learning sessions

Low-stakes Tests: Issues to consider

  • Provide multi-modal content presentation and access systems wherever possible to make content flexible and adaptable for different needs.
  • Provide multi-modal input mechanisms to enable students participate in feedback loops either online or in classrooms.

High-stakes Test

High-stakes testing has consequences that may make a serious impact on the life-course of the participant. An example might be a university entrance examination or high school exit exams. It is important that a high-stakes standardized testing be fair to all candidates and not offer advantages to one group over another. summative tests are considered as high-stakes tests and have a high point value. The goal of summative tests is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Information from summative standardized testings can be used formatively when students or faculty use it to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses. Examples of summative tests include:

  • Midterm exams
  • Final projects
  • Research papers

High-stakes Test: Setting

High-stakes tests and summative tests often take place in one of the following contexts:

  • Classrooms
  • Groups
  • Auditoriums
  • Public venues or institutions (e.g. public libraries, examination centers)
  • Controlled individual kiosks/spaces
  • One's individual setting (for projects that are submitted to instructors online or in person e.g. research papers, thesis projects)

High-stakes Test: Issues to consider

  • Time requirements to complete the standardized testing (Addressing the automation issue)
  • Cognitive load
  • Required efforts
  • Fatigue
  • Grouping arrangements
  • Use of earphones or headphones
  • Use of individual setting if response method distracts other students
  • Availability/comparability/location of computers and peripherals
  • Glare from windows or overhead lights
  • Adaptive furniture
  • Test security

Self Assessment

Self assessment evaluate one's actions, attitudes or performance at a job or learning task considered in relation to an objective standard.

Self Assessmen: Setting

  • Individual's own setting
  • At workplace
  • Classrooms

Self Assessment: Issues to consider

  • Having no access to an assistant or instructor
  • Time requirements to complete the test (Addressing the automation issue)
  • Cognitive load